Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did William Hare and William Burke do to obtain bodies to sell?

2. How does Baden prove the bullet went into John Connally sideways?

3. Why does Baden believe Levine was convicted at all costs?

4. What were resurrectionists during the time of the French Revolution?

5. What is a coup injury?

Short Essay Questions

1. Many cases are mentioned in Chapter Four that others point to as proof that Baden made poor judgments while acting as ME. What is his defense, in general, for the accusations?

2. Explain how Baden knew the hostages were killed by the guards.

3. What are the ways mentioned in Chapter Six to identify a body?

4. Explain Baden's experience of the convergence of hospital medicine and the morgue, and why the event had an impact on him.

5. Explain how the body of Theresa Ferrara was identified and why there were different strands of hair on her torso.

6. Explain why identification of the victims of Flight 66 was hindered.

7. Explain the three themes of Baden's affidavit in the case of Claus von Bulow.

8. How did Baden know the killer in the Buffalo slayings was trained, either as a hunter or medically?

9. Describe the blunders that occurred during the Levin and Chambers case.

10. Explain why Baden believes coroners are often in trouble as a result of their positions.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The case of Carl Cappolono is listed as being an almost perfect crime. However, this case had several holes in it that eventually led to Carl's demise. Based on the book, what kinds of mistakes do killers make that eventually come back to haunt them? What do killers assume about poison, and why is this assumption incorrect? How can an ME detect poisons long after they have been administered, according to the tests done in the book? What does this say about the idea that poison killings are killings without a trace?

Essay Topic 2

In the case of Daphne Mellon, it became clear, through Baden's investigation, that Mellon had died of a drug overdose. The case was closed, without locating anyone who attended the party Baden believes she attended, and without speaking with anyone who directly had dealings with Mellon at the party. Do you believe Baden's judgment was biased, based on Mellon's known drug use and history of sexual promiscuity? Or do you believe the evidence found supports his idea of a drug and sex party gone wrong? Explain your answer, using the details from the case. Be sure to mention where she was found, events leading up to the death, her boyfriend's statements, and those of her friends, her actions prior to her death, the findings at the scene, and any other pertinent information.

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 1 of the book, Baden discusses the concept of celebrity death, and the effect of a flawed autopsy on the perception of foul play surrounding the death. Do you think conspiracy theories are derived from the life of the celebrity, or the circumstances surrounding their death, or both? Why? What aspects of life or death help frame a conspiracy theory following death? Why do some celebrities suffer such beliefs after their death and some do not? Based on this, do you think forensic science can have an effect on these ideas? Why or why not? What does this say about forensic science?

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